Ian Evatt sends warning to play-off rivals as Bolton secure top-six spot
Ian Evatt watched Bolton secure a Sky Bet League One top-six finish but warned Wanderers’ play-off rivals they “are capable of more” after a 2-0 victory over 10-man Fleetwood.
The Trotters led through Promise Omochere’s own goal after 18 minutes following a Randell Williams’ corner.
The home side received another leg-up when Jayden Stockley was sent-off after 58 minutes for clashing with MJ Williams.
The Cod Army striker apparently tugged head-band wearing Williams’ hair.
Kyle Dempsey’s sixth goal of the season sealed victory with 12 minutes remaining, while James Trafford denied Fleetwood a later consolation with a fine save from substitute Carlos Mendes Gomes.
Fifth-placed Wanderers finish their season at Bristol Rovers but do not yet know the identity of their opening play-off rival with one match remaining.
“This is just the first part,” said Evatt of confirmation of Wanderers’ position. “We have achieved something but it is not enough.
“We want more and we are capable of more. We are in a good place so we take a deep breath and then reset because the season is far from done.”
Evatt insisted the officials made the correct call with Stockley’s expulsion.
He added: “Just before, there was a clear, significant hair pull. He yanked MJ’s hair out of its socket. The fourth official saw it but chose not to step in.
“That was over, the corner was over and as the player was running back past MJ, he had another little tug and slap of his head.
“This time the fourth official saw it and chose to step in. That helped us but I am pleased the right decision was made.”
Fleetwood boss Scott Brown said the club would appeal the decision by referee Benjamin Speedie.
“Until the red card we were in the game,” said Brown. “It was never a sending off.
“They (the officials) said he pulled his (Williams) hair. He just touched the back of his head.
“We knew we had to bring our A game and the lads did that. It was a poor decision because it cost us majorly.
“We created a lot of chances in the first half and we were disappointed to come in 1-0 down.
“The performance was overshadowed by the referee’s performance but I have got to be proud of the lads, especially in the first half.
“For large parts we dominated. We perhaps just lacked that bit of quality right at the end.
“We tried to go two up top and lost a second goal. These things happen.”